Skeptics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scientific skepticism. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This image has been making the rounds of Twitter, which shows a Jet Blue as airplane completely snowed in, with just its tail sticking out. The image is said to have been taken at New York's JFK airport during the January 2016 snow storm.

'jetBlue' airplane seems to be covered in snow

This picture just feels off to me. How can two feet of snow completely cover an aircraft?

share|improve this question
2  
How can two feet of snow completely cover an aircraft? 2 feet of snow+strong winds=snow drifts much higher than 2 feet. – Compro01 Jan 24 at 16:04
34  
The picture is 'off' in a particular way: the snow pile has a lumpy, dirty-looking top, which suggests it's been moved and dumped in a pile. If it had fallen directly on the airplane, wind action would have resulted in smooth curved surfaces (snowdrifts) and the snow would be evenly white. – Kevin Reid Jan 24 at 17:25
6  
If you notice, the winglet is also "sticking out". – SMS von der Tann Jan 24 at 19:48
33  
This looks like a fun low-angle photo. – WBT Jan 25 at 2:51
11  
I have spend one second looking at this picture, at I was more than sure, that it is a complete fake, in terms, as @SMSvonderTann says: that this is a pile of old snow left next to the plane. It is so obvious (to me), that it can't be more obvious, that plane if fact is at certain distance from the pile of snow. What am I missing? How can one argue, if this picture is real? Is this really possible, that some many people believe, that this picture actually shows a totally covered airplane? – trejder Jan 25 at 9:16

It didn't. You are looking at a pile of snow with an airplane some distance behind it.

Source: Try Modern magazine

In the first photo, the photographer simply took a pic of a snow pile at an angle that made it look like it was covering the aircraft, which in fact was actually behind the pile of snow (and a good way off as well).

share|improve this answer
6  
While this is pretty obviously what happened, that site doesn't offer any actual evidence. It's just some person describing what they see. – Chris Hayes Jan 24 at 22:14
    
@ChrisHayes The second image shows an example of what the true situation probably looks like, with the pile of manually stacked snow in front of the aircraft. – March Ho Jan 25 at 2:20
5  
@MarchHo Yes, but "here's how someone could fake this photo" is not evidence of "this photo was faked". (Conversely, "no one could actually take this photo" is.) – Chris Hayes Jan 25 at 2:22
9  
@ChrisHayes the lumps of snow that we see on the top of the pile are typically 1 cm in size. And this is really as much proof as you can get, since the image is not doctored, just a trick of perspective, there will be no evidence of "foul play". – Davidmh Jan 25 at 8:38
1  
You've got two objects (the snow pile and the plane) in the photo, with a large depth of field, and lacking any other hints about distance of the objects (background, people, things of a known scale). – user21023 Jan 25 at 16:52

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.